Intellectual Disability Programme | Bermuda Hospitals Board

Fairview Court, MWI

8am to 5pm Monday to Friday and by appointment

Tel: (441) 249-3462


BHB’s Intellectual Disability Programme (formerly the Learning Disability Programme) has its administrative base at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, although many of the services are provided in the community.

The programme provides a range of different types of support to adults who have learning disabilities (intellectual and developmental). Services include 24-hour support in 14 group homes across the island, the New Dimensions Day Programme, respite care and multidisciplinary support.

The philosophy of the Intellectual Disability Programme is that every client should be supported in ways that increase their engagement in meaningful activities and relationships (“active support”). This requires the client to be at the forefront of everything that is done to support them (“capable environments”).

Each client in the group homes and New Dimensions will have an up-to-date person-centred passport that sets out what is important to them, and what staff need to know in order to support them to have a good day every day. To this end, all support staff have undergone the City and Guilds certificate programme in Supporting Individuals with Learning Disabilities (4200), or are starting a new programme run in collaboration with Bermuda College. Support staff have also attended training workshops in active support and person-centred approaches.

A number of clients present behaviours that are considered challenging to those who are supporting them. The Intellectual Disability Programme has adopted the principles of Positive Behaviour Support as the approach used to understand and respond to challenging behaviour.

This approach includes viewing the behaviour as being the person’s way of communicating that something is upsetting them. By changing the situations and events they experience, we can increase the person’s quality of life and reduce the likelihood that challenging behaviours will occur. Each client whose behaviour is considered challenging will have a Positive Behaviour Support plan in place. The plan emphasises ways to avoid trigger situations and how to de-escalate any situations that we have been unable to avoid.

Intellectual Disability Programme Eligibility and Referral Guidelines

National Plan for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities and Their Families

Group Homes

There are 14 group homes across the length of Bermuda. Each home supports between three and nine people, with a total of 65 residents across all the group homes. The homes are staffed by community support workers, who are supported by three clinical managers, a clinical supervisor and members of the multidisciplinary team.

Two of the group homes have been adapted to enable people who use wheelchairs to be supported with dignity while maximising their independence. One of the 14 properties belongs to BHB, but the other homes are rented on the open market or from Project 100, a charitable organisation established to purchase and adapt suitable houses.

A small number of clients in group homes are supported into sheltered employment. Up to 25 clients attend the New Dimensions Day Programme each day, while others are engaged in different community-based activities from the homes. Homes have access to the service’s cars and minibuses to enable clients who cannot easily use public transport to access the community.

New Dimensions Day Programme

The New Dimensions Day Programme provides an array of services for up to 25 clients who attend from our group homes. The programme aims to empower and support all clients in their quest to reach their full potential in an inclusive, diverse and creative environment. Clients are encouraged to excel in many different areas, such as arts and crafts, bowling, cricket, fishing, spirituality, exercise, work skills and visiting places of interest in the community.

Respite Care

Respite care can be provided in six of the group homes. Adults who live in their family home can apply for respite of up to six weeks per year. The aim of respite care is to provide regular breaks for families to enable them to support their family member throughout the rest of the year. Access to respite care is through the team’s social worker.

Multidisciplinary Support

Multidisciplinary support is available to family carers, support staff and people with intellectual disabilities within both the group homes and the wider community. The members of the multidisciplinary team include nursing, clinical psychology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social work, dietetics, speech pathology and rehabilitation therapy. The team has access to a consultant psychiatrist as needed.

Community Intellectual Disabilities Team

The Community Intellectual Disabilities Team was established in April 2021 as a specialist multidisciplinary team to assist in meeting the needs of people with intellectual disabilities who do not live in the group homes. The aim of the service is to bridge the gap in access to health services for this group and support clients in living as healthy a life as possible.

This service is delivered through a process of assessment of needs, and support plans that are designed and implemented by members of the team. The team’s purpose is to provide safe and effective person-centred support using a multidisciplinary approach to enhance the client’s wellbeing within the community.